River Drive Mall

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For the shopping center historically known as El Portal Shopping Center in San Pablo, California, see Arbella Shopping Center.
River Drive Mall
El Portal Mall.jpg
Eastside of River Drive Mall
Location Laredo, Texas, USA
Opening date 1970
Closing date 2003
Developer Morgan Stern Realty
Owner Morgan Stern Realty
No. of stores and services 80+
No. of anchor tenants 2
Total retail floor area 385,000+ sq. ft.
No. of floors 1-2

River Drive Mall was a regional 385,000-square-foot (35,800 m2) indoor mall located in the north Rio Grande bank in downtown Laredo, Texas.[1] River Drive Mall was Laredo's main mall from 1970 to the mid 1980s. It is set to be demolished in 2014. It will be replaced by a new multi-story open-air outlet center to be named The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo set to be opened in 2015.


The River Drive Mall was built in 1970 making it the first indoor mall in Laredo, followed by Mall del Norte constructed in 1977. The mall was succeeded by Mall Del Norte in the late 1980s as the main mall in the city. Major anchors located at the mall were Frost Bros., JCPenney, Weiner's, and KB Toys. River Drive Mall closed its doors in 2003 due to high vacancy rate.

El Portal Center project[edit]

Morgan Stern Realty bought the property in 2003, renamed it El Portal Center and started renovating it until 2005. It had been planned for Morgan Stern Realty to turn "El Portal Center" into an indoor outlet mall.[2] Their main emphasis would have been outlets stores, restaurants, and entertainment. In 2006, a spokesman for Morgan Stern Realty stated, "Our progress has been impeded primarily on the barrage of negative, national news coverage of Laredo that has depicted the violence in Nuevo Laredo as spilling over to Laredo, while unfair and inaccurate, has nonetheless caused a delay in our factory outlet leasing program."[3] El Portal Center project was never completed and the mall never reopened.

The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo
Future The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo plan.jpg
The Outlets Shoppes at Laredo plan
Location Laredo, Texas, USA
Opening date 2015
Developer Horizon Group
Owner Morgan Stern Realty
No. of stores and services 80+
Total retail floor area 350,000–400,000+ sq. ft.
No. of floors 3
River Drive Mall view from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas will be demolished to make way for the new Outlet Shoppes at Laredo

The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo[edit]

On June 12, 2013 Horizon Group Properties and the City of Laredo announced the development of an outlet center in place of the River Drive Mall. The outlet mall will feature from 80 to 90 outlet stores in a newly planned 3 level open air building. El Portal Center will be demolished in 2014 for the new building. The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo is expected to open by 2015. Since then they've said to release the names of the outlet stores on July 8th,2015[4][5][6]


The Outlet Shoppes will be located on the northern bank of the Rio Grande west of the Gateway to the Americas International Bridge connecting Laredo, Texas with Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The combined population of both cities is 636,516 according to census figures in 2010 from Mexico and the United States.

Other buildings in the planning stages for the area around the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo include a Convention Center, a World Trade Center, a 5 star hotel, and a weir to make a low level lake in the Rio Grande known as the River Vega Project.[7][8]

Outlet stores[edit]

The following is a list of outlet stores planning to open at The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo.[9]


Coordinates: 27°30′06″N 99°30′36″W / 27.5017°N 99.5101°W / 27.5017; -99.5101